Thursday, December 24, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 12/24/15
“The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”  (Phillips Brooks)  O Little Town of Bethlehem was written during the Civil War.  Talk about a time of fear.  Rev Brooks saw the hope for overcoming fear in the Incarnation (that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown).  God knows, and God cares about his creation.  He is not dead, nor does he sleep.  Frosty and Rudolph are cute, but what most of us need is a carol that gives us hope.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PM:  I continue to eagerly open these emails every day and find myself forwarding them to those that come to mind. I'm grateful for the time you spend writing these each morning. Thank you! Merry Christmas!====JACK:  Others forward Winning Words, too.  I sometimes wonder what it is that has caused the forward and how a particular message has been meaningful.  Oftentimes people will greet a pastor after the service and say, "Nice sermon, pastor?"  I'd like to answer, "Why?"

  FROM KITTY:  Your words brighten my mornings and provide such food for thought. I miss our visits.====JACK: People sometimes ask why I get up at 4:30 each morning.  A reply like yours gives the answer.  Going way back...we did have some worthwhile conversations.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  It is getting scary as I am agreeing with you more these days and did you notice that the top of my Christmas letter was made from the same card that you sent us....WOW Kindred spirits????====JACK:  Yes, we do have things in common.  One of the things a good salesman does is to try and find a "common thread" with the customer.  You are good at that.

FROM TARMART REV:  Amen====JACK:  I like AMEN, as sung and led by Jester Hairston.  I'm sure you know it; if not, YouTube probably has it.

FROM THE JUDGE:  You bring such joy to so many every single day through your " winning words" and kind thoughts!====JACK:  I try to write words that will be meaningful to a wide variety of people.  Some days, life can be a challenge, and we need encouragement.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:   I had no idea about this history; thank you for sharing.====JACK:  Rev Brooks was in the Holy Land at Christmas and tried to put this experience into words for the children of his Sunday School back home.  His writing became the carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem.

FROM FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR TG: Thank you for your encouraging and inspiring words throughout the year.====JACK:  With your interest in flying, you should like the carol, "Angels from the realms of glory wing their flight o'er all the earth."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  another Civil War carol is,     I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.  check out those lyrics.  VERY timely indeed. you could use one of those verses for tomorrow's WW.  just a suggestion.====JACK:  "I Heard the Bells" is perhaps my favorite Christmas song.  While the words relate to a bygone, era, they remain relevant.  Since tomorrow is a "sabbath" for me, use of  the hymn as Wining Words will have to wait until another day, perhaps the Eastern Orthodox Christmas.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Hope as an alternative to fear.  These days that seems to be an effective weapon for some people and groups.  Sad that it dominates our political candidates rhetoric and causes backlashes like the one Mr. Trump has unleashed.  As FDR said, all we have to fear is fear itself.  God will take care of everything.====JACK:  There's a song, "My God and I," which says that we are partners with God.  It's OK to hope that God will take care of everything...but sometimes he expects us to have a part in the solution of a problem.

ROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Today we hold tight to the promise God has provided through his tiny baby...Jesus.====JACK:  "O Word of God, Incarnate!"

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